Monday, February 4, 2008

Will Trading Spaces Ever Die?

Excuse me while I gripe a bit.I am not one to complain too often, but someone has to point out this television tragedy. As I was watching a program on TLC the other day, I was horrified to see a commercial, for the revamping of Trading Spaces. Their motto basically says, Remember years ago, when people liked this show, and it was hosted by Paige Davis? Well, she's back! Oh, and now ex spouses, and kids and parents will trade rooms. What! I got an immediate knot in my stomach. This show stopped being, even somewhat interesting years ago.
I admit that when Trading Spaces first aired, I though it was fun and creative because the designers had such a novel approach. Unfortunately, the program quickly took a turn for the worst. My personal belief is that this program and others like it are almost completely responsible for poorly designed homes in America. First of all, the idea that any type of design can be done for $1000.00, $500.00, or whatever is absolutely ridiculous. These programs can claim that is all they spend, but just the amount of labor it takes to pull off that kind of work, would blow their budgets out of the water. There have been times I've watched these programs, and known for a fact that what they claim an item costs, is not anywhere close to reality.
The thing that bothers me the most, is not the absurd budgets, but the absolutely HORRIBLE design. The results of these "makeovers", often make me shudder. I find myself thinking that the room looked better before the makeover.
I'm sure some of you are thinking..."Well, if you don't like the programs; don't watch them!" I agree with this statement, but the problem is, how many people out there don't realize just how bad this design is? They think that if they see it on t.v. it must be good.
Wouldn't it be wonderful, if "Design" shows were hosted by actual designers, and not just t.v. personalities? Like, whatever happened to Kenneth Brown's show on HGTV, or Sheila Bridges' program on Fine Living? Their programs were very interesting, and their designs were great.

What if Apartment Therapy, produced a television show? That would be so cool, Or maybe; Domino Magazine. Talk about two sources that have their finger on the pulse of modern design, never mind their huge built-in following. What about a reality show based on the life of Kelly Wearstler? Imagine, following the style icon as she works on her amazing projects, while looking as fabulous as she does. I would kill to watch that! If there are any t.v. execs. reading this, here are a few suggestions from me.
I realize that not many designers can uproot their lives and businesses, to make a television program, but it would be nice if producers could offer a little more than goofy design for tiny budgets. Perhaps, I am only dreaming; but there is nothing wrong with that. I guess for now I wait for the few weeks a year when Top Design, airs.
O.K. now that I have that out of my system, I will go back to being my more positive self :)


Topsy Turvy said...

I couldn't agree more! Maybe that's why we're all blogging now?
You have some great ideas, Carolina - send them to HGTV.

My Notting Hill said...

The title of your post made me laugh out loud. Thanks!

Carolina Eclectic said...

TT: I think your right, about the rise of design blogs. Too bad, television producers; haven't noticed.

MNH: It funny you should mention the title, because I questioned calling something nicer, then thought; "I'm going to say what I really feel!"
I'm such a little nice girl.

LondonCalling said...

I wonder about the programming on HGTV as well. There are very few shows anymore that decrate at all much less with a designer onboard.

Paloma said...

I love this post so much, Carolina! I couldn't agree with you more about Trading Spaces and shows of the same breed. I think your ideas for TV shows are amazing. I would definitely watch!

Carolina Eclectic said...

Hi LC and Paloma: I had fun with this post...getting it off my chest. Its good to know I'm not the only one who feels like this.
Maybe, I should take Topsy Turvy's advice and send this post to HGTV, or Bravo:)

Cote de Texas said...

Oh, I think I will always have a soft spot for Mindy Paige Page, her real name. I know everyone hates her, but to me the bad designs were never her fault. Remember the original spanish designer who lived in Paris (blanking on her name). She always did the rooms that the clients hated: the feather room, the straw room, the cardboard room. She was just awful. my favorite designer on there was Laurie Smith. She's actually talented and her book on her home is one of my guilty pleasures. Check on Decorno's blog. She just did a I hate Page blog too!!! You will love it. btw, I love this post. Excellent, excellent reporting. you go girl!

Carolina Eclectic said...

Hi Joni

I don't hate Paige Page (I did know that was her real name), as much as I hate the design. But you are right about Laurie, I have her book. That what makes the concept even worse, is that even designers who are talented have to dumb down their work.

Jennifer DeDonato said...

Wow I didn't know they were bring that show back. I stopped watching Trading Spaces when I watched a designer hot glue trim to the walls. classy


About Emily... said...

I completely agree- that show needs to end and Paige should go back to doing musicals. Glad someone voiced their opinion about this! Great blog!

Material Girls Blog

Carolina Eclectic said...

Hi Jennifer. Thankfully, I can say I missed the episode you are talking about; but I shuttered when I thought about it :)
Emily: Thanks for your comment. I agree about the musicals.